A lot happened in the thirteenth episode of Outlander, The Watch. We had Claire and Jenny in a birthing scene that strangely reminded me of Gone With the Wind minus Atlanta being overrun and burned to the ground. I have to admit I’m not much on birthing scenes in shows. I guess this was a vehicle to bring Claire and Jenny together.
I think Jenny is a prickly character not because of circumstance but because that’s just her innate makeup. I get a bit tired of seeing Jenny and Jamie seething at each other, and Ian and Claire standing around like they’ve entered the wrong room.
Last week left off with Claire watching while Jamie is surrounded by members of the Black Watch. I’m the first to admit that I don’t know a lot about the Black Watch. From this episode I got the feeling they were a little like the Mob, shaking down the Lairds for protection money against the Red Coats. Things are looking bad for Jamie when Jenny walks in. For a moment you can see the panic flit across her face. She collects herself and tells the Watch to let her cousin go. Oh, so they’ll try and pass Jamie off as Jenny’s cousin. It goes as expected with a tense dinner, and more glares between Jamie and Jenny, and Ian acting like their all friends. Jamie looks like he’s eaten something bad.
The Watch stomp around Lallybroch demanding whatever they want with no regard for the families who live there. Jamie can’t abide their behavior and after a hay wagon is set on fire he loses his temper and takes a gun from one of the more loathsome characters. The leader of the Black Watch is intrigued by Jamie’s skill.
This got me to thinking. Jamie is twenty-two – I think that’s right – and he’s been through battle, killed, been captured, flogged not once, but twice, has a price on his head, was banished from his home, and carried the guilt that his actions killed his father.
Jamie is a warrior filled with rage. This point is shown to us when Horrocks arrives to join the Watch for some shenanigans involving the Red Coats. Horrocks doesn’t tell the Watch that Jamie is a wanted man, instead he blackmails Jamie. Horrocks was his salvation, or he could have been if he’d seen anyone else but Black Jack Randall kill the man Jamie was supposed to have killed. Now, Horrocks is a liability, and one that Jamie tries to pay off, but Horrocks is too bold and wants way more than Jamie could provide.
We know Horrocks is a dead man. We just don’t expect it to be Ian that runs him through with a blade. Jamie is clearly relieved and thinks nothing of Horrocks death. Ian has not be hardened by the years on the run. He’s put behind him the war years, built a life, married, raised his children, and taken care of Lallybroch. Two men who were childhood friends and went off to war together and should have spent their lives together instead have walked down different paths.
Jenny’s water breaks; the baby is coming. As they wait for the midwife, Claire examines Jenny and discovers that the baby is in a breech position. Things are not looking good for Jenny. Her mother died from childbirth, as did many women before her. I think childbirth was the leading cause of death for women, followed closely by death by fire as the long dresses they cooked in would catch on fire.
When Jamie tells Claire he doesn’t want to pay off Horrocks — I know I’m jumping out of order here — because the money is for Claire and the children they will have together, I wondered how much more Jamie can take. Claire thinks she’s infertile. To her credit she tells Jamie this. His dream of returning to Lallybroch, being Laird, and raising a family is toast. All the things that gave Jamie solace are gone. He tells Claire that he couldn’t bear to see her in pain or to lose her to childbirth.
We have more scenes of Jenny moaning in pain as the two women bond. Personally, I’d rather have another pee on the wool scene as a bonding experience. Jenny thinks she’s going to die. Claire says she’ll deliver this baby feet first. Oh, I forgot to mention that the midwife couldn’t come to assist, so it’s Claire and Jennie ( a la Scarlett and Miss Melly) to birth this baby.
The Watch notices that Horrocks is gone. When they confront Jamie and Ian about this, Jamie immediately confesses to killing Horrocks. He tells them he’s a wanted man with a price on his head. I think Jamie did this to protect Ian and Lallybroch. He knows that he will never be Laird. Never pass his home on to his own son. Never grow old with Claire in his family home.
Instead of arresting Jamie and handing him over to the Red Coats for the ransom money, the Watch decides he should join them. And off they ride to ambush, but instead get ambushed.
Claire unaware of this, waits on the steps with Jenny’s baby girl. It’s been three days and no word from Ian. Jenny tells Claire that Jamie will return. He doesn’t. Ian returns and informs them that Jamie has been taken.
And we’re right back where we started with Jamie being taken, again, by the Red Coats.